Nominee for the 2002 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel
Ace Books (2001) trade paperback edition, 318 pp.
AST Publishers (2004) hardcover edition, 526 pp. (Russian translation)
STRANGE THINGS ARE AFOOT IN THE TOWN OF SHILSTON UPCOT . . .
It looked to have been once a very picturesque little market-town, but had fallen into decay. Signs of neglect and disuse were everywhere evident, in the general disrepair of the houses, in the tattered casement-windows and tottering chimneys, the disarticulated doors, the extensive overgrowth in the churchyard and gardens and village green. Over everything lay a ghostly pall of silence.
"Driver," I called out, "what is this place? This hamlet below us?"
"Shilston Upcot," replied the coachman, then added, slowly and enigmatically - "or more rightly was."
"Who lives there?"
"None what has a decent brain, sir," answered the guard. "Though there might be some - some folk as yet at the great hall, up there in the wood. But none takes to the village now, sir, unlessen they be off the latch. Crackers I mean, sir. Daft!"
What frightful secret lies hidden in the dismal ruined village high in the mountains of Talbotshire? Where have the inhabitants gone, and why have they gone there? Who - or dare I say what - lives now at the old mansion-house atop Skylingden point?
"There's deviltry here," said the guard. "The village, the mansion-house, the woods, the black waters - mischief - devil's work - "
"Aye," nodded the coachman. "The kind as don't bear thinking of!"
Discover for yourself the startling answer to the mystery of Shilston Upcot, in this second volume of the Western Lights series!
Mr. Tony Arkwright
A veterinary surgeon and breeder of horses.
Nicodemus Binks ("Coddy")
A hunting chemist.
A stone-cutter by trade, and the village sexton.
A pretty chambermaid at the Village Arms.
Miss Violet Crimp
The proprietor of a waffle-house.
A speedy mare belonging to Miss Margaret Mowbray.
Mr. Thomas Dogger
A self-important attorney, very respectable; lord and master of Prospect Cottage.
Mrs. Jane Fielding
The widowed aunt of Miss Mowbray.
Dr. William Hall
A pale, placid-faced physician.
An eccentric freeholder, residing at the Peaks.
The daughter of Mr. Nim Ives; a picture of efficiency.
The good-humored landlord of the Village Arms.
A mastodon man.
Drawer at the Village Arms.
A lively shorthaired terrier belonging to Mr. Mark Trench.
Mr. Oliver Langley
Friend and confidant of Mr. Trench; a city man from Crow's-end, on holiday.
Foppish servant to the Doggers.
Miss Margaret Mowbray ("Mags")
The young cousin of Mr. Trench.
Mrs. Dinah Scattergood
The wife of the Rev. Mr. Scattergood.
The Rev. Mr. Horace Scattergood
The vicar of Shilston Upcot.
A gentleman rover of the celestial sphere, otherwise a teratorn.